Ronnie O’Sullivan’s comeback win against Andrew Higginson yesterday was a quintessential game of two halves.

In the first half, Higginson was superb and O’Sullivan looked rusty. When he lost the dramatic fourth frame to head into the interval trailing 4-0 his first whitewash in a full ranking event since the 2006 China Open looked possible.

They key moment, though, came in frame six. Higginson was 62-0 ahead and potted a good black with a red close to the green pocket. All he had to do was land on it and that would surely have been that, but it was obscured by the green.

He later potted another good red but failed to land on a colour, in fact finished touching the brown. His big mistake in playing a tap away was in leaving on a long red. O’Sullivan knocked this in and completed a magnificent clearance t bring up 4-2.

After this, O’Sullivan’s confidence returned and Higginson began to feel the pressure.

It was great entertainment of the sort snooker manages to serve up again and again, and eases some of O’Sullivan’s ranking pressures, even though he is still up against it in his fight to stay in the top 16.

His friend, rival and contemporary John Higgins suffered an ignominious 5-0 defeat to Stephen Maguire last night. Remarkably this was Higgins’s first whitewash in a full ranking event since Karl Burrows beat him 5-0 in the 1996 Asian Classic.

If you are as good as Higgins you don’t suddenly forget how to play, but snooker is a largely psychological game.

Last season he put in more effort than ever and got his rewards. It took a lot out of him emotionally and he has been unable to maintain that intensity. He feels flatter and is not playing the sort of snooker that he brought him major titles.

The German Masters is coming nicely to the boil now. Judd Trump will play Maguire in the quarter-finals while Shaun Murphy and Stephen Lee are also through to the last eight, which will be played tonight.

This afternoon’s last 16 matches see O’Sullivan take on Joe Perry, Mark Williams play Stuart Bingham in a repeat of this season’s Australian Open final, Masters champ Neil Robertson up against Matthew Stevens and world no.1 Mark Selby versus Graeme Dott.

It’s an embarrassment of riches: top quality players and proven title winners. Of those left in only Perry is yet to win a ranking tournament.


Anonymous said...

Even Perry won the Championship League though, so he has it in him to win titles. Williams, Maguire and Murphy have pretty good track records in winning overseas events, and after his run to the Masters final you'd probably pick Murphy out of those three.

kimball said...

Morning Dave,

any reason why Dott is huge favourite
against Selby with Ladbrokes(1.4-2.75).

If that is correct then Selby must be sick or something.

Witz78 said...

Surely it has to go down as poor scheduling today for fans, tv viewers and players alike.
Logical decision surely had to be play the last 4 rnd 2 matches this morning then play the 1st 2 quarters this afternoon followed by the last 2 qf this evening. Also would mean the 4 rnd 2 winners today would at least get a bit of a breather before starting their quarter final matches. Just seems silly in so many ways the more i think about it, no need for all 4 quarters to be played at once.

147 said...

A remarkably clearance from 62-0 down considering the frame score 4-0 and top 16 under threat it must go down as one of the all time great comebacks I was glued to the tele yesterday everything else paled in significance and when a sporting occasion does that you know its special.Eurosport are the unsung heroes the commentary has be excellent if i was to dish out criticism it would be the need for a studio set up ,but im sure with snooker increasing in popularity like tennis this will be provided.

Anonymous said...

Is it me, or was the Eurosport UK commentary yesterday a few seconds behind the pictures & sound from Germany?

colin A

Anonymous said...

it wasnt you colin

was the same for everyone

the commentaotrs were all saying

"oh is it there?" 3 seconds after the ball was in.

spoiled daves comments.

the rest are a bunch of guessers so it didnt really affect them

Anonymous said...

Michael Holt being a nob on Twitter again, clearly mis-representing what Pro Snooker Blog said about Maguire. He also reckons his opinion on snooker is more informed than Clive Everton's i.e. someone who has studied and written extensively about the game longer than Holt has been alive...almost as absurd as a porn star claiming they know more about anatomy than a doctor; I say put him in the commentary box and see who calls the right shot.

Anyway, we have four players left, and all four have waited for a ranking title longer than their talent would indicate so should be good.

jamie brannon said...

I see Clive Everton is starting an anti-BBC campaign.

I think his departure was very disappointing and he has every right to have beef with Graham Fry who led to his downfall, it wasn't handled well.

However, he shouldn't generalise the whole of the BBC by one individual, particularly in collusion with the Daily Mail.

The idea that the BBC is ageist is poppycock, there are older people working there than Clive. This line is trotted out far too often.

The reason they got rid of Clive was down to the fact he wasn't a pro like Thorne, Virgo and Taylor et al.

It was a great travesty but I really hope Clive is not going to start BBC bashing every month.

Anonymous said...

A pro what Jamie? I think Clive was every inch the professional.

Anonymous said...


id say clives knowledge is much better than michaels

but i think hed call more shots right than clive and give a better insight to the way the game is played these days.

something i dont think clive is very good at.

yes hes intelligent and a good speaker, but he comes across all fuddy duddyish to me.

Anonymous said...


that was the sole only reason they got rid of clive?

you sure?

mind you you said it was fact, so id say you are sure...

"clive, we no longer need your services commentating as you were never a pro snooker player. bye"

i dont think so!

jamie brannon said...

He wasn't a pro in the sense that Willie Thorne and others in box were. Basically, Everton was marginalised due to him not being high profile enough and his criticism of the WPBSA, who Fry was keen to keep onside.

I don't think his age came into it.

Anonymous said...

thanks for backtracking Jamie

i knew that wasnt the reason / only reason.

i now know youre only talking about your opinion and not dealing in facts (even though you said fact).